techUK argue that government must alleviate immediate skills shortages through reinstating the PSW route, alongside a call for a wider 'smart migration' environment with needs of the tech sector at its heart.
techUK have issued a written response to an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration chaired by Paul Blomfield MP, exploring the impact of the closure of the Post Study Work (PSW) visa route. In closing this route, the Government intends to restrict access to the UK labour market for non-EU graduates who have not secured employment at the end of their studies.
techUK members indicate that the sector has suffered from the closure of the Post Work Study (PSW) visa route. Whilst the tier 1 visas for 'exceptional talent' or the graduate entrepreneur visa are welcome new government efforts to facilitate the entry of talent into the UK tech sector, they do not address major skills shortages across the tech sector in the UK for which the PSW previously was well-utilised by the sector.
The techUK response argues that the closure of the PSW route:
- Has resulted in a decline in number of non-EEA students in the short-term
- Has resulted in fewer applicants to STEM subjects, injuring the tech sector in the short to medium term
- Encourages UK-educated non-EEA graduates to seek work outside the UK and "trains our competitors to outcompete us"
- Affects international perceptions for potential talent into the UK over the long-term
- should be reinstated as current and future recruitment demands of the tech sector cannot be met without non-EEA talent
Note: In 'Securing our digital future: The techUK manifesto for growth and jobs 2015-2020', techUK called for a 'Smart migration' policy which would include the reinstating of the PSW route. In the coming weeks, techUK will be responding to a recent call from the influential Migration Advisory Committee of shortages in Digital Technology.
techUK deputy CEO Antony Walker will give oral evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tuesday 11 November 2014.
For further details, contact Charlotte Holloway.